USTA Press Release, February 27, 2019
The USTA announced Tuesday that Fed Cup tennis, the world’s largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, will come to Texas for the first time as the United States Fed Cup Team will take on Switzerland in a World Group Playoff competition inside San Antonio’s Freeman Coliseum April 20-21. USTA officials were joined by representatives of San Antonio Sports, County Judge Nelson Wolff, Pat Frost, chair of the local organizing committee, and Cari Breakie Richardson, president of the San Antonio Tennis Association, at Tuesday’s announcement at Freeman Coliseum.
Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis, and the U.S. is its most successful nation, with 18 titles. The American team won the championship in 2017 and reached the Final in 2018. Over the last two years, players such as Serena and Venus Williams, world No. 4 Sloane Stephens, No. 17 Madison Keys and No. 25 Danielle Collins have featured in Fed Cup matches for the U.S.
The World Group Playoff vs. Switzerland is a best-of-five match series played over two days, with each country bringing a team of four or five players. The ‘tie,’ as it’s called, begins Saturday, April 20, with two singles matches between each country’s No. 1- and No. 2-nominated players. Two reverse singles matches, between each country’s No. 1s and each country’s No. 2s, and the doubles match will follow on Sunday, April 21.
Matches will be played at Freeman Coliseum on a temporary indoor hard court, with an amended schedule possible for Sunday should one nation clinch victory in the third or fourth singles match. The winner of this matchup returns to the prestigious World Group to compete for the Fed Cup title in 2020.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public on March 1 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com. Two-day ticket packages for both Saturday and Sunday – the best initial ticket value – will be sold at prices ranging from $50 to $250, or $25 to $125 per day. Single-day tickets for Saturday or Sunday will be sold with prices ranging from $30 to $135 per day.
USTA members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets in advance through an exclusive presale today through Thursday, or while supplies last.
The SABÉR Research Institute out of San Antonio’s St. Mary’s University estimates the economic impact of Fed Cup on the region to be $3.6 million, similar to the $3.5 million estimated impact made on the Asheville, N.C., area by the World Group First Round tie earlier this month. While a Keys- and Collins-led U.S. team fell, 3-2, to Australia in Asheville, the USTA and local organizers engaged more than 1,000 kids from the area with tennis programming in what amounted to a weeklong celebration of the sport.
While Fed Cup has never before come to Texas, the state has a notable history with Davis Cup, its male equivalent. Most recently, nearly 50,000 fans came out over three days to cheer the U.S. Davis Cup Team vs. Spain in the 2011 Quarterfinals held at the University of Texas in Austin. Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth have all hosted Davis Cup ties in the past, with the U.S. winning the Davis Cup title in 1992 at Fort Worth’s Tarrant County Center.
“Texas has such a rich history with the sport of tennis, and we’re very excited to bring Fed Cup to San Antonio for the first time,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Patrick Galbraith. “This competition not only gives us a chance to bring world-class tennis to San Antonio but to also engage with the community and our local partners to use this platform to grow the game in the area.”
“We’re thrilled San Antonio has been chosen to host the first Fed Cup competition in Texas,” said Russ Bookbinder, President & CEO of San Antonio Sports. “We’re confident in our team’s ability to stage premier events and feel San Antonio’s well-earned reputation for hospitality will make this a first-rate experience for the players, USTA and fans alike.”
The U.S. team is captained by former world No. 7 Kathy Rinaldi. The players representing both teams will be named no later than 10 days before the start of the competition.